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Pressure Cooker Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Pressure Cooker Pho Bo - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup, made quickly by pressure cooking the broth.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds meaty beef shanks and oxtails
  • 1 large onion, trimmed, peeled, and sliced thin
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 dried star anise pods
  • Cinnamon stick (about 3-4 inches long)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef brisket
  • 10 cups of water, or a little more to cover the ingredients


  • 1 pound thin rice noodles, cooked according to package directions

Condiments and add-ins

  • 2 cups sprouts (bean sprouts are traditional; I went with mixed sprouts)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (I pull a handful from the head of the bunch)
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves (Thai basil is best, but any basil will work)
  • 2 large shallots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced thin
  • 2-3 serrano chilies, stemmed and sliced thin (Thai bird chilies if you can find them)
  • Limes, cut into wedges
  • Sriracha hot sauce (or other asian hot sauce)
  • Thai fish sauce
  • Soy sauce


  1. Brown the beef in two batches: Heat the vegetable oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half the shanks and oxtails and sear for 3 minutes per side, or until well browned. Remove the to a bowl, add the second batch of oxtails and shanks, and brown for 3 minutes per side. Add to the bowl with the rest of the beef.
  2. Saute the aromatics: Add the onions and ginger to the pot and saute for 8 minutes, or until the onions are browning around their edges.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients: Increase the heat to high, add 1/2 cup of water, and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add the browned beef and any juices in the bowl, then the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, fish sauce, soy sauce, salt and sugar. Stir to combine, then put the beef brisket on the top. Pour in the 10 cups of water, which should just cover the beef.
  4. Pressure cook the stock: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring the cooker up to high pressure. Lower the heat to maintain the pressure, and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes in a stovetop PC or 60 minutes in an electric PC. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally, about 20 minutes.
  5. Strain the stock and slice the beef: Open the pressure cooker, and remove the beef brisket, beef shanks, and any oxtails with a lot of meat on them to a carving board. Strain the stock into another pot through a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth Slice the brisket crosswise, against the grain, into thin slices. Pull and shred the meat from the shanks and oxtails, removing any big hunks of fat and gristle.
  6. Serving: In individual soup bowls, put some of the rice noodles, top with some shredded and sliced beef, and cover with the strained beef stock. Serve with the condiments and add-ins at the table so people can build their own soup.


See my Pressure Cooker Beef Stock for the basic technique behind this recipe.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese